One of the country’s largest independent agencies has emerged out of lockdown with a spring in its step, acquiring two small independents in the first fortnight of normal trading.
Leeds-based Linley & Simpson, which operates across Yorkshire and The Humber, has acquired the Hull branch of Link Agency group and its lettings portfolio across the city.
The deal comes at the same time as Linley & Simpson launches its new flagship office in Hull following its acquisition of the 500-home lettings book of another agency, Beercocks, at the end of last year.
Within a fortnight of the sector being given the green light to reopen High Street branches safely, it has also swooped to buy the independent Leeds lettings agency Dawson Wake.
The two acquisitions take the total number of properties now managed by Linley and Simpson’s 19 branches past 9,500.
“After what’s been a challenging time for many businesses, particularly estate agents, we are thrilled to have started the ‘new normal’ on a positive note with these acquisitions. They represent a clear signal of our strong confidence in the future of the lettings market as everyone adapts to life after lockdown” explains chief executive Will Linley.
“To have completed both deals so soon after restrictions lifted has given us an ideal platform on which to build, especially given the scale of pent-up demand that is now being freed up. In fact, on the day the sector was ‘unlocked’, we witnessed our busiest day of the year in terms on online traffic – a trend that has continued at pace.”
These latest acquisitions – completed for undisclosed sums – are the 12th and 13th since Linley & Simpson won the backing of the LDC private equity investment consultancy.
“As the industry moves out of lockdown, but straight into a series of other operational challenges, we see it as the ideal time to augment our business further” says Linley.
Founded by Linley and Nick Simpson in 1997 with two branches, the company now employs over 250 people.